Alison Brewin

Alison graduated with a Law Degree from the University of Victoria in 1991 and was called to the Bar in 1992. Throughout the 1990s, she worked as political assistant to Margaret Mitchell (MP) and in non-profit management (East Side Family Place, West Coast Domestic Worker’s Association and West Coast LEAF). She also provided freelance community development, education and writing services and was an owner-operator of the Commercial Drive toy store “It’s All Fun and Games”.

Between 1999 and 2011, Alison worked with West Coast LEAF, first as their as Legal Director and then as their Executive Director. During this time she successfully multiplied the budget and staff by five and put the organization front and centre on gender issues in the province’s laws and public policy. She returned to West Coast LEAF as Interim ED 2015-16.

Alison has worked as a full-time non-profit consultant since 2011. She has provided Interim Executive Director services to organizations such as BC Civil Liberties, Access Pro Bono and VAST. She has provided Strategic Planning facilitation to organizations such as the YVR Art Foundation, BC Non-Profit Housing and First United Church. She has also provided evaluation support to groups like the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, Options for Sexual Health and Check Your Head. She designed and teaches New Approaches to Non-Profit Management in Canada as part of SFU’s Non-profit management program.

Alison is a lifelong learner and has completed the Canadian Evaluation Society’s Essential Skills Course at Royal Roads as well as facilitation training at the Grove Institute in San Francisco. She regularly attends conferences in evaluation and community development.  Alison is a trained Gender Audit Facilitator with the International Labour Organization. She has taken training and workshops  facilitation, editing, human resources, and conflict resolution. Alison is an alumus of the SFU Writing Studio.

Alison lives in East Vancouver with her partner and their many children and pets.


Emily Aspinwall

Emily is an associate with Alison Brewin Consulting who has spent more than 20 years volunteering and working in various non-profits, and knows first hand the challenges facing small, grassroots non-profit organizations.

Version 2Emily cut her non-profit management teeth in staff collective environments. She worked as the Director of Financial Administration at Vancouver Co-operative Radio, and as the Resource and Administrative Coordinator at the Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG at Simon Fraser University). Wherever Emily goes she delves into improving organizational health, engaging with the organization’s mission, vision and values and collaboratively working to align policies, practices and processes.

Emily has a Masters in Library and Information Studies (MLIS) from UBC, specializing in community collaboration, information systems in non-profits, metadata and classification. She is passionate about effectively organizing information and resources to be useful for a good cause.

Emily is interested in ongoing practices to understand and connect with others (and how this is a way to create positive social change). She has taught Ki Aikido, a practice committed to non-aggression and getting the energy moving, since 2009.

Emily is excited about contributing her skills and experiences to help in the development of positive, effective and sustainable community organizations.